International Travel Registration - DRAFT FOR COMMENT

Effective: January 1, 2020 - Please review this draft policy and submit your comments and questions to by November 29
Contact: Office of Risk Management

>> DRAFT UPDATED ON OCTOBER 15, 2019: See clarified definition of "ISU-Sponsored Travel" below (the 7th bullet). <<


Iowa State University is engaged in a variety of global initiatives and activities including research, service, outreach, recruitment, and study abroad. In order to facilitate these activities, the university must be able to provide appropriate resources to travelers, promote the safety and security of these travelers, and comply with domestic and international laws. These resources include providing international travel emergency assistance and health insurance, complying with export control regulations & the Fly America act, advising travelers of safety & security concerns, and providing material resources such as travel laptops and satellite phones.


International Travel – Travel to countries outside the United States or to US Territories.

ISU-Sponsored Travel – Travel will be considered ISU-Sponsored if it meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Funded in whole or in part by ISU-controlled funds regardless of purpose.
  • Part of a credit-bearing activity (study abroad) 
  • Undertaken by an ISU Recognized Student Organization.
  • Actively arranged or advised by ISU faculty or staff.
  • Involving an ISU employee/volunteer exercising their official responsibilities.
  • Any international travel tied to an individual’s status as an active ISU student (excluding self-sponsored travel to a student’s home country).
  • [UPDATE on October 15: Language clarified by request of ORI to exclude consultancy or work for non-ISU entities] Any international travel by a faculty member associated with his/her scholarly activities or service to the profession, regardless of time of year. Any international travel by a faculty member in which they are engaged in research, teaching, or other activity that is part of their ISU employment, scholarship, or service. This excludes travel for outside consultancies or work engaged on behalf of other institutions or companies, unless such work is performed in conjunction with an ISU-sponsored project.

Note: Travel that is self-funded and does not meet any of the seven criteria stated above (such as personal travel, tourism, home visit, etc.) is not ISU-sponsored travel and is not subject to this policy.

Categories of ISU-Sponsored Travel

  • Student Related International Travel – Student related travel is sponsored travel undertaken by any undergraduate or any credit-bearing activity. For group travel, any group that contains an undergraduate student immediately classifies the travel as student related travel for all travelers including employees, graduate/professional students, and volunteers.
  • International Business Travel – Business travel is sponsored travel undertaken by university employees, graduate/professional students, volunteers, affiliates, and student athletes that is not part of a credit-bearing activity or a student organization. This includes research, professional service, outreach, lecturing, site visits, professional development, international conferences, recruiting, and athletic competitions.

Itinerary Review – This process is an analysis of the risks associated with a particular itinerary undertaken by ISU’s International Risk Analyst. Depending on the complexity of the trip and the experience-level of the traveler this review can be as simple as a short phone call or as extensive as weeks of research by the analyst. 

Policy Statement

In order to coordinate resources and information to best support travelers, all university members undertaking ISU-sponsored international travel must register each trip. This registration will be used for the following purposes:

  • Enroll the traveler in international emergency and medical insurance.
  • Facilitate compliance with export controls.
  • Register traveler for security alerts related to their itinerary.
  • Coordinate assistance to traveler if a major incident threatens their safety during travel.
  • Review itinerary for health, safety, and security.

Student Related International Travel (except for athletic competition) must be registered with the Study Abroad Center (see Resources below). Student related travel must be approved by the Office of the Senior Vice President & Provost or their designee (such as the Education Abroad Committee, College Dean, or Department Chair). Student related travelers should consult the Study Abroad Center to learn the appropriate process dependent on the nature of the travel.

International Business Travel (including athletic competition) must be registered with the Office of Risk Management (see Resources below). Business travel must complete the international travel processes as part of registration.

Faculty & Staff - For faculty and staff, travel registration is not an approval process, however, travel to destinations that the Office of Risk Management has determined to be higher risk may require additional steps as indicated in the Risk Level Assessment section below.

Graduate/Professional Students & Volunteers - Travel by graduate/professional students and volunteers must obtain approval from their college/unit for travel to high-risk countries and from their Senior Vice President or Provost for severe-risk countries. Risk ratings for destination countries will be published on the Office of Risk Management’s website.

Risk Level Assessment

  • If a traveler is traveling to a minimal-risk or low-risk destination, they must register their travel. Beyond required registration no further action is needed.
  • If a traveler is traveling to a moderate-risk destination, they must register their travel and it is recommended that they review their itinerary with the Office of Risk Management.
  • If a traveler is traveling to a high-risk destination, they must register their travel and have their itinerary reviewed by the Office of Risk Management. Itinerary review will be shared with leadership at the traveler’s college/unit level.
  • If a traveler is traveling to a severe-risk destination they must register their travel and have their itinerary reviewed by the Office of Risk Management. Itinerary review will be shared with leadership at the traveler’s College/Unit and Senior Vice President levels.

Registration Timing

Travel should be registered as soon as the traveler(s) are aware of their travel dates and destination(s).